How To Hang A Picture

5 things to consider....

So, you’ve been on an adventure and acquired a painting or print. Is it in a beautiful, well-chosen frame already? If not, you know who to call! Blue Leopard works with a large range of mouldings that are all selected for their pleasing aesthetic and ability to help link your artwork to the palette of your home’s interior design. If your picture is framed already though and you’re happy with it, your next task is to hang the thing in the right place. Easier said than done. Read on for Blue Leopard’s top tips on how to get this right.


No.1: Does the height of pictures matter?

Okay so the example pictured below is a bit extreme but you get the point. This is a really common mistake that not only makes it hard for people to evaluate and enjoy the quality of the artwork but also has the effect of putting other decorative elements of the room out of kilter. When artwork is in an area of the home (or office) where people usually walk past or spend their time standing – so hallways, antechambers, and parts of reception rooms that don’t have seating – generally the focus of the picture shouldn’t be too far away from the eyeline of your average person.

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The impact of a picture’s beauty is employed more often when onlookers don’t have to climb onto a stool to enjoy the finer detail. Interestingly, placing pictures too low is less of a sin. Indeed, for seating areas where people spend more time at a lower level, matching these eye lines with picture heights is a good idea. Pictured below is a lovely example of how this can be done to not only lift the overall impact of the room’s interior design but also ensure the hard work of the artist is noticeable by those lounging on the sofas. One other great benefit of not placing pictures too high is that the full height of the ceiling is emphasised.

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And lastly, before we move on to the second point, the same goes for mirrors. Don’t choose a lovely mirror and hang it too high above your fireplace’s mantel piece. If the reflection cuts off the bottom half of your face you know you’ve made an error. If large enough, mirrors often look lovely simply rested on a mantel piece rather than hung on the wall.


No.2: How much space should you leave in between pictures?

This is an interesting one – there are no rules really and if there were sometimes breaking them would be a good idea! The example pictured shows that you can create a really pleasing effect without following any restrictions on gap widths or picture heights. The important thing is to give it a go and see how it feels. Generally speaking though, when you are putting up a montage or group of pictures, the size of the gaps in between them is the important thing. 

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So long as the gaps are the same width it generally looks good. However, if there are quite a few pictures in a montage including different heights the gaps in between don’t all have to be the same. There might be ‘mini groups’ within a larger montage – it’s the distance between the pictures in mini groups that counts. It’s quite a difficult one to explain this – if you are having issues getting this right give Blue Leopard a call who – as well as art buying, curation, and framing – also provide a hanging service to their customers.

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No.3: What effect does direct sunlight have on artwork?

If you have a really sunny spot in your house it’s a good idea not to hang a water colour there full-stop but definitely not without quality glass in front of it. Glass does protect artwork and stop the colours from fading. The problem with it though is that the cheaper stuff is very reflective and often you won’t actually be able to see the picture you’ve framed due to the glare. One idea is to use non-reflective art glass – this works so well and looks fantastic however it is very expensive and can really hike up your overall framing cost. Our advice would be to show the value of your artwork enough respect. If you have acquired a beautiful water colour that wasn’t cheap then the best way to protect that investment is to preserve the quality of the image by using a more expensive glass. For prints, posters and less valuable pictures though standard framing glass – 2 or 3mm – is fine. Perspex has become really great in recent years as well – and can keep the overall weight of your picture down so that’s worth thinking about too.   


No.4: Does the colour of your walls make a difference?

If you’ve already got the artwork mounted and framed and are faced with the decision of where to hang it – rather than choosing the mount and frame for a given spot which is what we would recommend – then a really important thing to think about is the colour of the wall the artwork is being hung on. Broadly speaking the key here is to look for a visually pleasing contrast. So, if your walls are a neutral grey or magnolia colour – and you are not willing to consider redecorating – try to put your most colourful artworks in these places to lift the overall look. If you have pictures that are monochrome or black and white and have the same tones in the framing and mount options, then these types of picture look best on a strong colour. Take the example below – these black and white photographs look stunning set on the lovely strong mid blue colour.  

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No.5: Which picture hanging fixings should I use?

For those of you who find DIY a real pain and can’t remember where you keep your toolkit, fear not as Blue Leopard is more than happy to help you put up your artwork in the most appropriate, visually pleasing way. If you are doing it yourself though make sure you have chosen the right fixings. Pictures that aren't heavy only require simple hooks that you bang in to the wall with a hammer. For heavier pieces though a power drill will be required and the right screws and rawl plugs. For commercial spaces or examples where you are putting up a lot of pictures of a similar size in the same wall space, you can opt for the brackets that are visible and sit on the left and right-hand side of each picture and are then drilled into the wall. The advantages of this type are that they look good – especially in a nice colour like brass – and there is no chance of a picture being knocked off its hook - or in a public space stolen! It also means your pictures will all be neat and flush to the wall which looks really smart rather than the slight lean you get with pictures hung up on a string.

The most important thing as ever is to get stuck in and have fun, and If you have any questions for the guys at Blue Leopard on any of the points raised here click on the button below to get in touch with them. You can also check out the kind of artwork they can curate for your home or workplace. 

Philip Hodgkinson